Showing posts with label Baldwin's Ice cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baldwin's Ice cream. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Meet You at The Old Bank. New Mayfield Cafe and Food Hall As O’Connor Butchers Expand

Meet You at The Old Bank!
O’Connor Butchers Expand. New Mayfield Cafe & Food Hall 
Good morning!

Saturday December 2nd was a big day for the O'Connor family. What would the weather be like? They wondered. But they needn’t have worried. The sun shone and the music played, a big crowd showed up, even Santa appeared, as they officially opened their impressive new premises in Mayfield, a new premises that incorporates their long-running butcher shop business plus a brand new Food Hall and the lovely new Old Bank Café. 

Why Old Bank, you might ask. Well because the new building stands on the Iona Road site occupied for many years by the Permanent TSB bank.
All quiet on a Sunday morning.

I met Sinead Daly, the café manager, one afternoon last week and she proudly filled me on the story of the O’Connor family. The business started back in 1988 with the closure of Byrne’s in Ballincollig. Cormac O'Connor took a chance and, starting with a small van, began to fill the gap and now they deliver in both west and east Cork, to hotels, butcher shops and more.

By 1996, Cormac opened his shop on Boherboy Road, just off the North Ring Road, in Mayfield. And now, twenty years later, the tireless entrepreneur has moved that business the short distance to Iona Road to a purpose built building that includes the Food Hall (hot and cold deli) and the busy café, the first and only facility of its kind in the area. 

So great credit to Cormac. From that one man in a small van, the business has grown to twenty employees! Sons Cormac and Rory are now on the road, delivering east and west. The O'Connor family specialise in pork and bacon.

Sinead says they are now busy with Christmas orders, turkey and ham of course. Their traditional Christmas Cub is very popular. And another popular tradition is their Spice Beef. "Great aromas around the back these days!"

The Deli in the Food Hall opens at 7.30am and closes at 6.30pm. The Breakfast Bap is flying out the door. It is well priced: a fiver for the packed bap and tea or coffee. Another popular product here is your dinner on a plate: meat, vegetables and potatoes, fresh from the kitchen. A big ready-to-cook plate for €5.95 or two for a tenner. Good value and very convenient also.


The Food Hall is well stocked. Some good locally produced products on sale there such as Spice o’Life Sauces from Dunmanway and baked goods from Hassetts in Carrigaline. Watch out for the weekly offers and also popular, among the sporting fraternity, is the Protein Pack.

Sinead opens the Old Bank at 8.00am and soon the breakfast orders are coming in. The Full Irish (with tea or coffee) is in demand at €9.95. And you can have the mini-version for €5.95. Their Eggs Benedict, she has been told they “are the nicest in Cork”, is very popular and available for most of the day.

If your morning appetite is on the “small” side, why not try the Soft Poached Eggs or the Smoky Beans on Toast. Looking for something on the healthy side? They've got a Puffed Spelt and mixed nut granola and Porridge comes complete with Lemon Curd, seeds, berry compote, banana and honey.

Moving on then to lunch-time, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There’s their Roast of the Day and the Burger (all local meats by the way). Did you know that O'Connor’s hit the foodie headlines when their Glazed Ham was chosen to feed the hungry crews of the Clipper 09-10 race on Lapps Quay? Well that very ham is also on the lunch menu along with various salads and toasties.

Aside from breakfast and lunch, there are mid-morning and mid-afternoon opportunities to call in and relax with tea or coffee (loyalty card for regular coffee drinkers) along with scones, croissants, and pastries and more (Eggs Benedict for instance is on all day). And you can bring the kids. They’ll  enjoy some of the usual suspects but also have their own ham or chicken sandwich and will certainly be delighted with the highly rated Baldwin’s Ice-cream.

Baldwin’s are a farm in Knockanore, West Waterford and their inclusion on the menu is one way in which the café’s policy to use “the best seasonal and artisan produce available” is being achieved. The place was more or less full in mid-afternoon last Tuesday and it looks as if Sinead’s aim to make it “a great place to meet, socialise and eat” is on its way to being realised.

* Appropriately, since there is no longer a bank in Mayfield, the new premises includes an ATM.


Monday, April 13, 2015

On The Bus Bia Tour


On The Bus Bia Tour
Cheese, Ice-Cream, Bread
Wheels of fresh cheese, waiting to be stored.

It is ten o’clock on an April Saturday morning and we’re on the Bus Bia, heading into the countryside north of Dungarvan. The Bus Bia (Food Bus) is just one element in a packed weekend of activities organised by the West Waterford Festival of Food. We’re on the Blackwater tour and there are two other tours to different areas.
In the sunshine, we pass the house of famous local chef Eunice Power and the memorial to the renowned racing greyhound Master McGrath. Soon we are in Cappoquin. For a while we follow the spectacular Blackwater River, its big houses Dromana and Camphire standing proud, before cutting off deeper into the countryside for the farming area known as Knockanore. 
Bus passengers at Knockanore Cheese

First call is to the Knockanore Cheese company where we are greeted by Donal. They have 120 cows milking here. The milk is left unpasteurized and none is bought in. He tells us they make cheese in six flavours. The most popular is their Smoked version though the Black Pepper Cheese is well up there as well. They smoke it themselves, two weeks with oak-wood.
It is a long day in the dairy, from about 6.30am to 4.30pm. They process over twelve hundred gallons three times a week, producing about 190 wheels a batch. Each wheel weighs 2.8 kilograms. The cheese is then stored for around six months before being sold on at home and abroad (including Denmark, California and New York).
Tom Baldwin

They have grown the business gradually but now are in the throes of expanding their facilities at Knockanore, concentrating on more refrigeration and a bigger cutting area. Around six people are involved in the operation that was started in 1987 by Eamonn Lonergan who is still at the helm. The range is widely available and is stocked in SuperValu shops.


Baldwins are neighbours of the Lonergans and here we were greeted by Tom. Tom found himself with a conundrum in around 2005, whether to move from farming or whether to add on an enterprise to the existing farm which was being smoothly run by the family in any case. Inspired by Eamonn Lonergan he took a course in ice-cream making and started the Baldwin Ice-Cream business.


“We make ice-cream the traditional way. Sarah (who plays a similar role at Lonergan’s) does production for me two days a week. The eggs used are free-range, and all ingredients are natural. We sell to cafes, restaurants, hotels, retail. We pride ourselves on the unique quality and that comes out in the product.”

It is all manual work “at the moment”. “It suits me, is very flexible. For instance, if a chef wants a particular small order, we can do that special.”

Esther Barron
 The ice-cream enterprise has seen the dairy herd grow from 50 cows to some 100 plus. He still delivers direct to the customers: “We have no central distributor. I’m happy the way I'm going as it is a sustainable model. Most of our customers are in Waterford and Cork and we have built a good reputation.”


Back then to the bus and we retraced our journey to Cappoquin. Here we stopped at Barron’s Bakery which has been operating for five generations, serving only the local community (up to an 11 mile radius) for all those years. Esther Barron was our passionate host at the oldest bakery in Ireland and she underlined the importance of spending locally.

Oven closed
 They have 12 employed nowadays and bake during the night, using the amazing old-fashion Scotch Brick ovens. Bread-making here is a slow process but the bread is all the better for it. The bread is two hours in the making before it even gets to the oven whereas a factory process take only 20 minutes. “Hand-moulded bread is always more flavoursome. The bread can't be rushed. My father used to say ‘the art of bread-making is beyond science’”.


The bakery was established in 1887 and is one of the last bakeries in Ireland that still uses the Scotch Brick ovens. These give the bread an unique taste, flavour and crust as we found out for ourselves thanks to a parting gift of a Waterford bla from Esther and Joe.
A great half day on the bus, all for 15 euro. Put it in your diary for next year!

Oven open, like a small room inside

Friday, July 22, 2011

CORKER OF A MEAL AT FENNS QUAY


CORK ON A FORK
Local food, local lingo

Enjoyed a classy Cork on a Fork meal at the ever reliable Fenns Quay this week. This good value menu, even better now since the VAT reduction, includes mostly local food, such as spiced beef, and the menu card itself is “spiced “ up with some local lingo.

You are encouraged to have a starter by “Give it a lash boy” and a dessert by “Era, go on so”.

The food too is served with a smile and certainly put a smile on my face. Enjoyed my starter of Spiced beef and shredded beetroot. On the other side of the table, her regular Warm Chicken Salad lived up to expectations.

Mains for me was one of the evening’s specials: Baked Hake with herbed basmati rice, sautéed French beans, courgette with fennel and salsa rossa. A terrific combination, light and satisfying.

The other mains was Braised Irish Lamb Shank with Green Saffron Spiced Potatoes. The lamb was cooked to perfection and the spiced potatoes really added to the dish. As they say around here: “Savage Cabbage.”

We agreed on dessert: Lemon pudding served with Baldwin’s Ice-cream and a tiny jug of chocolate sauce. Presentation was inviting and the combination – that ice cream is gorgeous – went down a treat.

Wines were Pazos de Ulloa DO Ribeiro 2009 and Domaine d’Angayrac Costieres de Nimes 2008, each at €5.50 a glass.
Cork on a Fork: 2 courses €22.50; 3 courses €27.50.